A Day of Remembrance

In my family Memorial Day is a special time of reflection, as I’m sure it is for millions of families across America. I had the privilege of growing up in a military family. My dad spent his entire military career in the Air Force where he served one tour in Vietnam amongst other assignments that took our family to all corners of the United States as well as overseas. While my dad’s service in the Air Force makes me proud of what he did for our country, I believe it was the smaller lessons he taught me that are reflective of what Memorial Day should represent in the minds of every American family.

As was the custom we lived in on-base housing provided by the Air Force when my dad was on assignment. It was common for each home to house countless families every few years as service members rotated in and out of bases. While moving out of one house we had been living in, I distinctly remember my dad making the point that we had to leave the house in better condition than when we first moved in. I initially did not understand what he meant.

But as we cleaned the house before we departed for my dad’s next assignment I came to fully appreciate his lesson. Though we had lived there only temporarily, my dad wanted me to understand the importance of taking pride in and responsibility for what we had been given. This was also his approach in his service to our nation.

Military life is every bit as challenging for a service member’s spouse and family, something I experienced myself firsthand. I am eternally grateful for the service provided by both my father and my mother while he was in the Air Force. Without my mother’s help in raising my brothers and me, I would not be where I am today. I believe their example of leaving what we have been given in better condition than how we found it is something we should all reflect on this Memorial Day. Our nation is a gift from God, and we should all strive to leave it in better condition in every way possible than how we found it. For Memorial Day, please thank a service member for their work and for doing all they can to make our nation a better place. And on this Memorial Day a special thanks to those families who lost a loved one in service to our country. This day is for them.

In my family Memorial Day is a special time of reflection, as I’m sure it is for millions of families across America. I had the privilege of growing up in a military family. My dad spent his entire military career in the Air Force where he served one tour in Vietnam amongst other assignments that took our family to all corners of the United States as well as overseas. While my dad’s service in the Air Force makes me proud of what he did for our country, I believe it was the smaller lessons he taught me that are reflective of what Memorial Day should represent in the minds of every American family.

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